One thing I've always loved about a church is their stained glass windows. Here at Christmas, those windows seem even more special, since they add a certain ambiance to a church service. Many churches even add candles and greenery at Christmastime to give the windows a more beautiful appearance.
Let's make a Christmas cookie that contains stained glass and all....the type that is edible, of course! "Stained Glass Cookies" are cookies that have the appearance of stained glass, but the glass is made of Life Savers candy. You make a dough to form the shape of the cookie and fill the centers with crushed candy. As the cookie bakes, the candy melts, forming a stained-glass appearance. These cookies are pretty enough that you can even hang them on your Christmas tree. Placing them in front of the tree lights would give the cookies a stained glass effect.
The cookie portion is much like a regular sugar cookie dough. The dough is mixed and chilled. Then, it's rolled 1/8 inch thick and cut out with cookie cutters. You then can use a smaller cutter of the same shape to make a "frame" in which to hold the candy. Or, if you're not able to use another smaller cutter, you can cut the same shape out free-handed with a knife. The Life Savers candy is crushed and filled in the cut-out areas. They are now ready for baking, which melts the candy and causes it to melt together, giving the appearance of stained glass. These cookies are great for decorating or for eating!
The Life Savers candy I recommend is the "five-flavor" version, which contains cherry, lemon, lime and orange candies. This will give your cookies lots of color and stained glass effect. If you prefer, use separate colors and you can make the centers all one color, if you wanted to. When you crush the candy, I would place them in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Use care not to crush them to a powder, but just enough to make smaller pieces.
For hanging on a tree, you would need to make an opening at the top of the unbaked cookie with a drinking straw. Once the cookies are finished, they can be strung with a ribbon and used to decorate. This is fun project to do with children, though you may discover that the cookies may not necessarily make it to the tree, if you have children that may enjoy snacking on these!
Another cookie recipe that I gave sometime ago was for "Cathedral Cookies" which used colored miniature marshmallows to give color to the cookies. This article also includes some other holiday cookie recipes, so to get them, follow this link:
Also, if you enjoy sugar cookies at the holidays, here's a link to a video that gives a recipe for these cookies:
Bring extra color to your tree or to your cookie tray with these colorful cookies!
STAINED GLASS COOKIES
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 rolls Five-Flavor Life Savers candy
Cream shortening and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beating well. Combine the dry ingredients and add them to the creamed mixture. Divide dough in half, wrapping each portion in waxed paper. Chill at least 1 hour. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut with cookie cutter and place cookies on a foil-lined baking sheet. Using a smaller cutter, cut sections from the middle of the cookies or with a sharp knife, cut the section out free-hand. Crush the candy into small pieces and fill in the cutout areas of the cookies. If to be used for decorating, make a notch at the top of the cookie with a drinking straw. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until dough is light brown and candy has melted. Watch carefully! If candy does not completely cover center of cookie, spread candy out quickly while still soft with a metal spatula. For hanging on the Christmas tree, string with ribbon and place in front of the lights for a stained glass effect.